Ayodhya: Multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place in the temple town of Ayodhya, which has been turned into a fortress with deployment of 60 companies (90-125 personnel each) of the PAC and paramilitary forces. Drones and CCTV cameras will also be used to monitor the situation ahead of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case on Saturday.
Yogi Adityanath's government has also declared that all educational institutions will remain closed in UP from Saturday to Monday as a precautionary measure.
Apart from Uttar Pradesh, schools and colleges across the country are to be remained closed from Saturday. The Karnataka government declared that all schools and colleges in the state will remain closed on November 9 in view of the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
ನಾಳೆ, ಶನಿವಾರ, 9.11.2019 ರಂದು ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಶಾಲಾ-ಕಾಲೇಜುಗಳಿಗೆ ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ರಜೆಯನ್ನು ಘೋಷಿಸಿದೆ.
— S.Suresh Kumar, Minister - Govt of Karnataka (@nimmasuresh) November 8, 2019
Restrictions have also been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir with schools and colleges to remain closed today. "Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the SC verdict as a precautionary measure," DGP Dilbag Singh Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have also declared a holiday for all educational institutes in the state in view of the verdict. Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university in Delhi is also scheduled to remain closed on Saturday. Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announced that the private schools have been advised to remain shut on Saturday.
There are potential security concerns with the SC Ayodhya verdict tmrw morning. All government schools and many private schools are closed tomorrow, as it is a second Saturday. We are advising all private schools to also remain closed tmrw.
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) November 8, 2019
Authorities said social media posts will be monitored to ensure that no attempt is made to vitiate the atmosphere by spreading fake or inflammatory content and necessary arrangements have been made to ensure safety and security of religious places.
Adityanath made an appeal to the people of the state to maintain peace and order and not pay any heed to rumour-mongering. Keeping security preparations in mind, the UP administration has also blocked all roads leading to the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
Police personnel conduct searches near the site of disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site. (Image: PTI Photo)
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Friday morning held an hour-long meeting with UP Chief Secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari and Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh who apprised him about the security arrangements made to maintain law and order in the state.
In a tweet, Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Jha said the situation is perfectly normal in the district.
— Anuj K Jha (@anujias09) November 8, 2019
Elaborating on the security arrangements, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) PV Ramasastry said, "Adequate forces have been provided to Ayodhya and all sensitive districts of the state in good measure. The force has been sufficiently strengthened in terms of CAPF and PAC companies."
He said not only their numbers had been increased but the efficiency of the deployed forces was also being improved for the past two months by giving them better equipment and training. Apart from this, senior officers were also involved in planning, he said. When asked whether drone cameras will be used for monitoring purposes.
"Drone cameras are being used in the preparatory phase so that the deployment of the forces can be planned correctly," said Ramasastry, adding that drone cameras would also be used to closely monitor vulnerable spots and rooftops to prevent the accumulation of stones. "For the past a couple of months, efforts have been made to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the security personnel."
Police personnel conduct searches near the site of disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site. (Image: PTI)
When asked on the possibility of deploying the National Security Guard (NSG), he said, "Not any. The NSG is available at their bases for any eventuality. We have deployed ATS units, bomb diffusion squads, anti-sabotage and quick response teams."
Speaking on security arrangements, ADG (Prosecution) Ashutosh Pandey said, "Sixty companies of the PAC and paramilitary forces have been deployed. As many as 10 drone cameras and CCTVs at 30 crossings have been installed."
Pandey said barricading had been strengthened at the place of the makeshift temple.
The entire town had been divided into 31 sectors and 35 sub-sectors, he said, adding that in case there was a surge of visitors, a "holding area" had been carved on the outskirts of the town so that people could be sent in batches for the darshan of Lord Ram.
Adityanath had earlier said two helicopters would be on standby in Lucknow and Ayodhya as part of the security arrangements, with helicopters to be used in case of an emergency.
An official release later said the chief minister reviewed the law and order situation in each district and gave necessary directions to ensure normalcy. It was also decided that a state-level control room will be set up in Lucknow, with a control room in every district. Adityanath warned that strict action would be taken against those trying to disturb the law and order.
(With inputs from agencies)